Encyclopedia Astronautica
Informator


Russian communications satellite. One launch, 1991.01.29, Oscar 21. Informator was the spacecraft component of the planned Koskon medium earth-orbit communications satellite system.

A single test launch was made, but funding was not forthcoming, and the planned 45 satellite constellation never materialized.

Informator was developed by the Polyot Scientific Production Association and the Elas Scientific Production Association. The 600-kg satellite was planned to operate in orbits of around 1,000 km at an inclination of 83 degrees. It was cylindrical (diameter 1.8 m, height 4 m) with two solar panels designed to produce 1 kW average power. Informator relied on gravity gradient stabilization and was projected to have an operational lifetime of 5 years or more.

The operational Koskon system was to consist of 32-45 Informator-class satellites with multiple satellites in several orbital planes. Although replacement spacecraft would be launched by the Kosmos booster, the initial groups of three spacecraft were to be deployed using the Zenit launch vehicle. The first operational spacecraft were to be launched early as 1997 with deployments completed by 1998-1999. Uplink (1.656-1.660 GHz) and downlink (1.555-1.559 GHz) communication would be at a rate of 4-5 MBaud, while cross-linked communications at 2.0-2.1 GHz and 0.5 MBaud was advertised. C-band transmissions may also have been possible. The two primary control centers were to be located in the Moscow and Omsk regions. Informator 1 also carried the Soviet RS14 and the German RUDAK 2 amateur satellite transponders as piggy-back payloads.

The single launch of the prototype satellite was not followed by any others.

Characteristics

Electric System: 1.00 average kW.

Gross mass: 600 kg (1,320 lb).
Height: 4.00 m (13.10 ft).
First Launch: 1991.01.29.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Kosmos 3 In 1961 Isayev and Reshetnev developed the Voskhod space launch system on the basis of the R-14 IRBM. The initial version of the two stage rocket was designated Kosmos-1. The first 'Voskhod' launch complex was at Baikonur, a modification of one of the pads at the R-16 ICBM launch complex 41. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Kosmos 3 Russian orbital launch vehicle. In 1961 Isayev and Reshetnev developed the Voskhod space launch system on the basis of the R-14 IRBM. The initial version of the two stage rocket was designated Kosmos-1. The first 'Voskhod' launch complex was at Baikonur, a modification of one of the pads at the R-16 ICBM launch complex 41. More...
  • Kosmos 11K65M Russian orbital launch vehicle. Definitive and prolific production version of satellite launcher based on Yangel R-14 IRBM. After further development at NPO Polyot (Omsk, Chief Designer A S Klinishkov), the modified Kosmos-3M added a restartable second stage with an orientation system. This booster was launched form two 'Cusovaya' launch complexes from 1967. The second stage used low thrust rockets using gas generator output to adjust the final velocity of the stage More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Elas Russian manufacturer of spacecraft. Elas, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Oscar Amateur radio satellite network. For over a third of a century a series of OSCAR satellites have been launched in a variety of configurations and by many nations. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Plesetsk Plesetsk was the Soviet Union's northern cosmodrome, used for polar orbit launches of mainly military satellites, and was at one time the busiest launch centre in the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union put the main launch site of Baikonur in Kazakh territory. It now seems that once the Proton rocket is retired, Baikonur will be abandoned and Plesetsk will be Russia's primary launch centre. Upgrades to existing launch facilities will allow advanced versions of the Soyuz rocket and the new Angara launch vehicle to be launched from Plesetsk. Plesetsk's major drawback was the lower net payload in geosynchronous orbit from a northern latitude launch site. However Russia is planning to remove the disadvantage by looping geosynchronous satellites around the moon, using lunar gravity to make the necessary orbital plane change. More...

Informator Chronology


1991 January 29 - . 11:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC133/3. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M. LV Configuration: Kosmos 11K65M 53744-158.
  • Oscar 21 - . Payload: Informator s/n 1. Mass: 600 kg (1,320 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MO. Program: Oscar. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft: Informator. USAF Sat Cat: 21087 . COSPAR: 1991-006A. Apogee: 1,008 km (626 mi). Perigee: 956 km (594 mi). Inclination: 82.9000 deg. Period: 104.70 min. Prototype satellite for the planned Koskon (Space Conversion) Global Space Communication System. It was planned that the Koskon constellation would consist of a constellation of 32 to 45 satellites in 1997-2001. Also carried amateur radio transponders and performed geological research. Routine communications, collection and relaying of information in the interests of the Ministry of Geology of the USSR and other branches of the country's national economy, and the development of communications between amateur radio-operators.

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